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From personal experience I tend to draw mythic rare cards about one in five purchases when buying individually packaged boosters at Target, Walmart, etc, like the ones in this picture:

a Dragon's Maze booster packed in cardboard

In booster boxes I have never gotten more than 6 mythics. This led me to think about this for a moment. If Wizards can profit more from individually packed boosters, wouldn't they want to have people draw mythics more often from them? My reasoning is that a non-serious gamer would not buy a booster box, but would be more likely to buy individual packs. If this person gets mythics with just a few packs, that would be a good incentive to come back for more.

So my question is this: Are the odds of drawing mythics greater when purchasing individually packed booster card packs over booster boxes? Has anyone ever compared the odds? (I'm not quite ready to shell out $1000 to find out.)

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    Booster packs come from boxes. – murgatroid99 Aug 20 '14 at 22:49
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    If your experience is truly one in five single booster pack purchases gets you a mythic rare, then you are simply lucky with a small sample set. One in Eight rare cards in a booster pack will be a mythic rare. Since there are 36 boosters in a box, you should only expect to get 4-5 Mythic Rare cards. – ghoppe Aug 20 '14 at 23:34
  • Please ask about the boosters inside premade decks in a separate question: that's a different scenario to the trivial scenario of booster boxes. (Though the answer might be they're exactly the same, again.) The edit you made to your question is still visible in its edit history. – doppelgreener Aug 21 '14 at 4:33
  • Oh, are you actually asking about premade decks when you refer to "individually packed packs", not individual boosters purchased entirely on their own? – doppelgreener Aug 21 '14 at 4:34
  • Yes. Apologies for not being clear. But I wouldn't say it is a premade deck - there is just one booster pack inside all that cardboard. – David Vogel Aug 21 '14 at 4:35
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No, there's no difference.

The foil boosters purchased individually from your Friendly Local Gaming Store's shelf are exactly the same as the ones in the booster box, except they unpack them from those boxes first and put them on the shelves. You have an equal chance of getting a mythic from any of them.

As for boosters wrapped in cardboard, they say "New look, same booster pack!" - if it's the same booster pack, it should be the same again.

If you have better luck getting Mythics from one kind of booster than the other, you may either have been fairly lucky in that regard, or you're just perceiving it that way and really there's no difference and you haven't noticed it because you haven't been recording things rigorously.

  • That makes sense. I feel I need to clarify the question though and included a picture in it. Do these individually packaged packs have the same odds as what comes out of booster boxes? – David Vogel Aug 21 '14 at 4:33
  • @DavidVogel Are there any booster boxes filled with those individual packages? – Lyrion Aug 21 '14 at 8:57
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    One supposes only someone who works at Hasbro or CartaMundi could tell us for certain. But, cards are printed in pre-set sheets and cut up, they don't come out of the printer one at a time. Consider if you really think Hasbro would go to the trouble and expense of creating a different set of printing templates + whatever else to create a different set of sheets that have differently weighted distributions of cards on them just for that small run of individually wrapped packs? (also... it's tough to think they earn a higher margin on anything sold at Walmart of all places!) – Affe Aug 21 '14 at 19:59
  • If you buy individual booster packs from any vendor you don't trust, you may be less likely to pull a mythic rare because of the existence of a technique known as box mapping. So in an ideal world, yes, this answer is correct. In reality, some FLGS owners are greedy. I think box mapping should at least be noted somewhere for completeness, as it could absolutely explain the discrepancy. My local game store opens brand new boxes for each draft because of this, and sells the remainder on the shelf (because box mapping is ineffective when half the box is missing). – Rainbolt Aug 22 '14 at 15:39
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The only differences between single packs out of a booster box at a LGS and blister packs at a big box store are:

  1. The blister packs can't really benefit from mapping1 like the boxes for some sets can.
  2. People can more easily steal cards out of the blister pack and repack them with terrible cards not even in the same set.

Number 2 is especially true if the blister pack comes from Walmart, who have a very generous return policy.

Normal2 MtG packs have a 1/8 chance to contain a mythic (roughly, depending on the size of the set), regardless of where the pack comes from.


  1. "Mapping" a set means determining how the cards in the set are printed and distributed (a process that is generally crowdsourced). Once the set is mapped, one can potentially open a small number of boosters from a box and from there determine what every rare in the box is, and which packs have them. Mapping does not generally cover foils, however. Wizards has spent great effort to prevent the capability of mapping sets, and these days while it is still possible, it is generally unprofitable.
  2. By "normal," I mean to exclude things like special packs used for prereleases such as the guild-specific packs in the Return to Ravnica block. I am not certain on their mythic distribution, so I'll not comment on them.
  • It would be very hard to extract cards from one of WotC's 'individually wrapped' boosters of the sort shown in the photo, re-seal the foil booster wrapper, reseal the cardboard, and return it to Wal-Mart. I can't imagine this is a positive-value proposition. – Steven Stadnicki Aug 21 '14 at 15:16
  • I've seen reports on MtG forums of exactly that occurring, actually. I won't speculate on the value gained from the theft, but people do it. Some thieves go to extreme lengths for this type of activity, even as far as having their own shrink-wrapping machine for video games. – Brian S Aug 21 '14 at 15:46

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